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F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:17 pm

The last discussion was getting quite lengthy, so please continue it here in a new thread.

viewtopic.php?p=20039021
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:29 am

Good news story for the USMC and sounds like she is the type who has always wanted/needed to fly!

Crapo honors first female F-35B jet pilot

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) honored U.S. Marine Captain Anneliese Satz, a Boise native, Monday with a Congressional Record Statement to mark her accomplishments -- which includes being the first female F-35B jet pilot.

The statement was awarded to Satz during her holiday visit to the Boise area.

The Congressional Record Statement reads:

“I congratulate U.S. Marine Captain Anneliese Satz, of Boise, Idaho, on her many achievements, including being the first woman to fly the F-35 fighter jet for the U.S. Marine Corps. Above all, I thank Captain Satz for her service to our nation.

“In June, Captain Satz became the first female Marine to complete the F-35B Basic Course. Before she joined the Marines, she earned her commercial pilots license flying helicopters. I understand Captain Satz has been assigned to her first operational unit: the “Green Knights” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 in Iwakuni, Japan.

...


https://www.kivitv.com/news/crapo-honor ... ?_amp=true
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:14 pm

A very impressive number of jets for this latest combat deployment test.

U.S. Air Force put dozens of F-35 fighter jets into the air

The U.S. Air Force has announced that the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings conducted an F-35A Combat Power Exercise with 52 aircraft at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Jan. 6, 2020.

The exercise, which was planned for months, demonstrated their ability to employ a large force of F-35As – testing readiness in the areas of personnel accountability, aircraft generation, ground operations, flight operations, and combat capability against air and ground targets.

A little more than four years after receiving their first combat-coded F-35A Lightning II aircraft, Hill’s fighter wings have achieved full warfighting capability.

The first operational F-35As arrived at Hill in September 2015 and since then the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th FWs have flown more than 17,500 sorties and more than 33,000 flying hours.

The 388 FW’s three squadrons – the 4th, 34th and 421st Fighter Squadrons – now each have 24 primary assigned aircraft with six back-up aircraft. The 419th FW’s 466th FS also supports routine F-35 operations side by side with the active duty squadrons.

...

https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-f ... e-air.html

Interesting that some jets have the external rails for AIM-9X while some don't.
Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:55 pm

Sustainment for 2020 signed with LM. It is a global contract that covers all jets delivered and to be delivered this year to all partners.

Pentagon and Lockheed Martin Sign 2020 F-35 Sustainment Contract

The F-35 Joint Program Office awarded the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) industry team a $1.9 billion contract to support operations and sustainment of the global F-35 fleet, while improving mission readiness and further reducing costs.

The annual contract funds critical sustainment activities for aircraft currently in the fleet and builds enterprise capacity to support the future fleet of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft. This includes industry sustainment experts supporting base and depot maintenance, pilot and maintainer training, and sustaining engineering across the globe. It also covers fleet-wide data analytics and supply chain management for part repair and replenishment to enhance overall supply availability for the fleet.

...

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 81717.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:01 am

This seems a novel idea to get around the issues faced with manufacturing F-35 parts in Turley. I’m not sure it is will be approved by the JPO given it doesn’t remove Turkey completely from the program and the global partners, who are all keen for this industrial work, may also have an issue with this approach.

Turkish F-35 parts producers mull Bulgaria move to sidestep sanctions

Turkish defence companies contracted to build parts for F-35 stealth fighter jets have been considering moving production to Bulgaria to sidestep possible U.S. sanctions after Turkey was suspended from the F-35 joint production programme, Dünya newspaper reported.

Eight Turkish contractors that had been building 937 parts for the F-35s – Alp Aviation, Ayesas, Havelsan, Roketsan and Tubitak-SAGE, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Kale Aerospace, and Fokker Elmo – have been directly affected by Washington’s decision to wind down Turkey’s role in joint production and complete the process as of March 2020.

Turkey was suspended from the F-35 programme after receiving its first shipment of Russian S-400 missile systems in July 2019. The United States views the presence of Russian military hardware in a NATO ally’s defence system as a potential security threat.

Turkey also risks further U.S. sanctions that could be imposed under a law drafted to pressure third parties that deal with the Russian intelligence or defence sectors.

Dünya said on Thursday that defence companies clustered around the central Anatolian province of Eskişehir had been considering alternatives in the face of a possible U.S. embargo, citing sources in the industry.

Some companies have even started looking for facilities in Bulgaria where they can continue producing parts for the F-35 programme, the daily said.

...

https://ahvalnews.com/us-turkey/turkish ... -sanctions
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:15 am

Good news that the new EODAS has been approved and contracted to be installed on new aircraft.

Next-gen DAS order for F-35 aircraft

Lockheed Martin has received a $98.9 million order to integrate the next generation electro-optical Distributed Aperture System into all variants of the F-35 aircraft.

The work will be carried out for F-35 aircraft used by the US Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, as well as non-Department of Defense participants.

Work is expected to be complete in July 2022.

https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/digi ... -aircraft/
 
DigitalSea
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:47 am

It's absolutely astounding looking at the values of all of the contracts in support of the F-35 program, my oh my.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:02 am

DigitalSea wrote:
It's absolutely astounding looking at the values of all of the contracts in support of the F-35 program, my oh my.

Indeed, the US$59 billion dev and test phase is basically done. The US$320 billion acquisition (includes a decent amount of inflation) phase is in full swing and the sustainment phase, somewhere between US$500-1000 billion and includes a LOT of inflation) is really just getting started.

Given sustainment is anticipated to go until the 2070s and cover for the US approx 2459 aircraft you can see why there is so much funding.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:02 am

The Greeks see an eventual F-35 acquisition although there is some economic stability and the upgrading of their F-16 fleet to occur before anything happens. I expect some of this is also to rub it in the noses of the Turks...

Greek Prime Minister Says Country Wants to Join F-35 Jet Programme

Greece is very interested in joining the US-led program to produce and procure the F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told US President Donald Trump.

"Greece is interested, Mr. President, in participating in the F-35 programme", Mitsotakis said during a meeting with Trump at the White House on Tuesday. "As you know, we are already upgrading our F-16s and that program will be completed in 2023-2024. So we are very much interested in participating in the F-35 after that".

...

https://sputniknews.com/military/202001 ... programme/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:05 am

Would be an interesting job being on the F-35 rapid response team, would certainly see some different operating environments and locations.

F35 Rapid Response Team mechanics prepared to deploy

Eastern Carolina is home to an elite group of mechanics that make up a team ready to go at a moment’s notice to ensure one heavily used military aircraft operates at peak performance.

The crew is called the F-35 Rapid Response Team. They're used by the Marine Corps, Air Force, and the Navy to make critical repairs to the F-35.

The team is made up of 12 to 15 people, who are trained in several areas of the aircraft maintenance and can deploy anywhere in the world to work on the F-35.

The Rapid Response Team was created at Fleet Readiness Center East at Cherry Point and is a first of its kind.

Richard Stiver is one of the elite aircraft mechanics and is proud of the work they're doing. Stiver said, "I like it, it's great for me. It gives us the chance to go out and get hands-on with the Marines, Sailors, and Airmen and get in, get it done, and get them back in the air as quickly as possible."

The group has been called out to make critical repairs several times and is currently the only team with these capabilities.


https://www.witn.com/content/news/F35-R ... 95541.html
 
DigitalSea
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:13 pm

Ozair wrote:
Would be an interesting job being on the F-35 rapid response team, would certainly see some different operating environments and locations.

F35 Rapid Response Team mechanics prepared to deploy

Eastern Carolina is home to an elite group of mechanics that make up a team ready to go at a moment’s notice to ensure one heavily used military aircraft operates at peak performance.

The crew is called the F-35 Rapid Response Team. They're used by the Marine Corps, Air Force, and the Navy to make critical repairs to the F-35.

The team is made up of 12 to 15 people, who are trained in several areas of the aircraft maintenance and can deploy anywhere in the world to work on the F-35.

The Rapid Response Team was created at Fleet Readiness Center East at Cherry Point and is a first of its kind.

Richard Stiver is one of the elite aircraft mechanics and is proud of the work they're doing. Stiver said, "I like it, it's great for me. It gives us the chance to go out and get hands-on with the Marines, Sailors, and Airmen and get in, get it done, and get them back in the air as quickly as possible."

The group has been called out to make critical repairs several times and is currently the only team with these capabilities.


https://www.witn.com/content/news/F35-R ... 95541.html


Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:41 am

The UK have confirmed they will be upgrading their existing F-35s with the new DAS as it arrives in blk 4 aircraft in 2023. I expect that most partners will follow suit and upgrade those portions they can to the BLK 4 standard including the new DAS.

UK to receive F-35 DAS upgrade

The F-35’s DAS housing is seen forward of the front undercarriage doors. The UK is to fall into line with its programme partners in equipping its aircraft with a new DAS system from 2023. Source: Crown Copyright
The United Kingdom is to upgrade its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft with the new Distributed Aperture System (DAS) announced in 2018, in line with other international customers.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Jane's on 7 January that the UK has decided to fall in line with the wider F-35 programmatic effort to swap the current Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-37 DAS with a new system to be developed by Raytheon. Previously, the UK government had said that no decision would be made until it understood the time and cost implications of the upgrade.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/93571/uk- ... as-upgrade
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:49 am

An interesting reference within the ITF review regarding multiship IRST. Just one of those capabilities you don't hear a lot about but is a great addition to the aircraft.

JSF ITF: Year in Review


...

Over the past year we have tested 11 unique F-35 software suites and fielded two. Through those efforts, we have laid the foundation for increased F-35 lethality and survivability with functions like multi-ship Infrared Search and Track.

...

https://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article ... in-review/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:21 pm

F-35 related as the F-35 is the threshold aircraft for this weapon integration. It should provide a significant capability to rapidly engage time sensitive targets within a high threat battlespace.

Air Force seeks advanced technologies for new counter-A2/AD weapon

The Air Force is looking to integrate a warhead, fuze and other technologies into the Stand-in Attack Weapon, a new missile intended to thwart anti-access/area-denial targets, according to a notice the service published today.

SiAW's program office also intends to add an active radar homing guidance system and a universal armament interface message set to ready the weapon for its threshold aircraft -- the F-35. It further seeks development of other capabilities that can respond to future threats, the notice states.

The Air Force is modeling SiAW -- a fiscal year 2018 new-start program -- on the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range system that Northrop Grumman is building for the Navy.

Per its FY-20 budget documents, the Air Force anticipates needing more than $840 million for SiAW's research and development over the next five years. It budgeted $18 million for the program in FY-18 and FY-19.

The service is looking for capability statements from potential sources and not seeking proposals. Responses are due by Jan. 21.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/air-f ... 2ad-weapon
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:21 pm

Singapore is a step closer to signing an order for the F-35 with DSCA approval.

Singapore gets the green light to buy F-35s

The U.S. government on Thursday formally approved Singapore to become the next customer of the F-35 joint strike fighter, paving the way for a future sale.

Last year, Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen announced that the country would submit a letter of request to the U.S. government to purchase four F-35B short takeoff and landing jets, with the intention of a total of 12 B models.

The U.S. State Department endorsement made Jan. 9 would allow Singapore to move ahead with purchasing those jets, at an estimated cost of $2.75 billion, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Also included in the proposed deal are up to 13 Pratt & Whitney F135 engines, unspecified electronic warfare and communications systems, training equipment, and the Autonomic Logistics Information System used for mission planning, maintenance and other logistics functions.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States. Singapore is a strategic friend and Major Security Cooperation Partner and an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia Pacific region,” DSCA stated in a release.

“This proposed sale of F-35s will augment Singapore's operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability, adding to an effective deterrence to defend its borders and contribute to coalition operations with other allied and partner forces.”

Singapore typically buys its fighter aircraft in small batches. If the country moves forward with buying the F-35, it will likely use those jets to begin replacing its fleet of 60 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 52/52+ fighters, and further F-35 orders would be expected.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/01 ... buy-f-35s/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:31 pm

The P&W and the F135 is being investigated due to the price of the engine not dropping as consistently as the F-35 air vehicle. You would expect that the cost would decrease more than the 3% that occurred over the last contract, especially as production matures. It is concerning as well when you consider the F135 is probably the base engine for the B-21 as well.

While it is too late for the F136 this lack of cost reduction also improves the chances for the follow on engines via the AETP program to make an impact and perhaps an opportunity to get some competitive selection by progressing with both the GE and P&W versions.

Pratt & Whitney’s $66 Billion F-35 Engine Program Under Review

The Pentagon’s audit agency is digging into cost and pricing data for F-35 engines to determine why United Technology Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit isn’t extracting more savings from subcontractors on their share of the biggest U.S. weapons program.

As the sole provider of engines for the F-35, the company and its subcontractors are in line to collect as much as $66 billion of a projected $428 billion in acquisition costs for more than 3,000 of the fighter jets being built for the U.S. and its allies.

The agency’s review was initiated after Pratt & Whitney claimed cost savings of about 3% in its prices for the 12th through 14th F-35 contracts -- the largest to date -- over the prior contract. By contrast, Lockheed Martin Corp., which builds the rest of the plane, is projecting savings of as much as 15.3%. The Pentagon program office is wondering about the big difference.

“That the engine price is not coming down as fast as the air vehicle is a concern,” Greg Kuntz, spokesman for the Defense Department’s F-35 program office, said in a statement. “We are using all the tools available to us to get the best price for the taxpayer.”

As the F-35 program approaches a likely full-rate production decision this year, the Pentagon is under increasing pressure to wring costs from all areas. Congress has approved about $27 billion to date for F-35 engines. Two House Armed Services subcommittees are digging into long-term maintenance costs for the plane.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... der-review
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:31 am

Poland has made the determination that it will not seek offsets as part of any F-35 deal. History of offsets with the F-16/C-130 and the status of the F-35 program with respect to industry participation make any offsets likely uneconomical. They are keen to enter into an industrial arrangement for new loyal wingman projects though which are at an earlier stage of development and therefore likely have greater opportunities.

Poland Resigns from the F-35 Offset, MoD Interested in Development of "Loyal Wingman" Heavy UAV

Polish Offset Committee adopted the MoD’s recommendation to resign from making use of offset in case of the F-35 acquisition, Defence24.pl found out. “The American proposals have not been satisfying for us. These pertained to incomplete maintenance capabilities for the F-16 and C-130 aircraft, with a cost exceeding 1 billion dollars. The cost-effect ratio was simply not profitable, especially in the light of the fact that the money saved can be allocated to other modernization programmes (...) The F-35 programme is closed, entirely” – representatives of the MoD told us. They also added that Poland is going to express its willingness to join the Loyal Wingman programme at the earlier stage, so that it could also enjoy industrial benefits.

...

https://defence24.com/poland-resigns-fr ... -heavy-uav
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:39 am

Looks like it will now take until the end of 2020 to completely remove Turkey from the F-35 supply chain. Will see how this impacts deliveries going forward but I suspect that there may be a few issues and that LM probably won’t hit their delivery target for this year given the need to transition.

Majority of F-35 supply chain will be out of Turkey by March

The majority of the Pentagon's Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) supply chain will be out of Turkey by March as the United States continues to remove Turkey from the programme for buying the Russian S-400 air defence system.

Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defence for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters on 14 January that prime contractor Lockheed Martin and F135 engine supplier Pratt & Whitney have a handful of contracts that will likely carry out to the end of 2020. She did not elaborate on these contracts. Pratt & Whitney deferred comment to the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), which, along with Lockheed Martin, did not return a request for comment prior to publication.

The Pentagon has not changed its position from August 2019 that Turkey had a limited opportunity to rejoin the F-35 programme - only if it completely divested the S-400.

"Turkey has not decided to make any movement on the S-400," Lord said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast. "So we continue to transition the work out of Turkey."

The Pentagon will spend between USD500 million and USD600 million to shift part of the programme's supply chain out of Turkey. Nearly 900 aircraft parts, including the centre fuselage and the cockpit display, are produced in Turkey.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/93703/maj ... y-by-march
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:49 am

ALIS is dead…. Hopefully this results in a functional system built on modern architecture that will accomplish the result intended, reduce maintainer workload and improve and reduce the cost of sustainment. Good news is LM will have to continue operating under current ALIS funding and no additional money will be paid for the new system, ODIN.

F-35 logistics system to be reinvented and renamed, official says

The computer-based logistics system of the F-35 stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin (LMT.N), which has been plagued by delays, will be replaced by another network made by the same company, a Pentagon official said on Tuesday.

The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) was designed to underpin the F-35 fleet’s daily operations, ranging from mission planning and flight scheduling to repairs and scheduled maintenance, as well as the tracking and ordering of parts.

Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief weapon’s buyer, said ALIS would be replaced with Lockheed Martin’s Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), which will be streamlined for efficiency “with the voice of the maintainer and the pilots at the forefront of the requirements list.”

Lord told Reuters outside a closed-door briefing to U.S. Congress that Lockheed Martin, the F-35’s prime contractor, would work on ODIN under the current ALIS funding profile without additional cost to the taxpayer.

...

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... u3gOUr-Dws
 
DigitalSea
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:37 am

 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:09 am

DigitalSea wrote:

The article makes it clear, way too many issues and the need for manual workarounds for the maintainers to get the system to work.

ALIS was blamed for delaying aircraft maintenance, one of the very things it was meant to facilitate.
“One Air Force unit estimated that it spent the equivalent of more than 45,000 hours per year performing additional tasks and manual workarounds because ALIS was not functioning as needed,” the GAO said in a November report.


I got the impression from reading the various articles on ALIS over the last few years, this one in particular https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/02 ... headaches/ that ALIS was bloated and using too many compute resources. That combined with the slow progress and the work of the USAF Mad Hatter team makes it clear why they have gone in this direction. Reading the above link in today's context shows they have been expecting to do something like this for at least a year. I would say LM also saw the writing on the wall and have agreed to the change in direction. The other interesting part will be how much LM IP is removed from the new system and potentially future sustainment of ODIN bid out to third parties.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:33 am

Ozair wrote:
ALIS is dead…. Hopefully this results in a functional system built on modern architecture that will accomplish the result intended, reduce maintainer workload and improve and reduce the cost of sustainment. Good news is LM will have to continue operating under current ALIS funding and no additional money will be paid for the new system, ODIN.

F-35 logistics system to be reinvented and renamed, official says

The computer-based logistics system of the F-35 stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin (LMT.N), which has been plagued by delays, will be replaced by another network made by the same company, a Pentagon official said on Tuesday.

The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) was designed to underpin the F-35 fleet’s daily operations, ranging from mission planning and flight scheduling to repairs and scheduled maintenance, as well as the tracking and ordering of parts.

Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief weapon’s buyer, said ALIS would be replaced with Lockheed Martin’s Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), which will be streamlined for efficiency “with the voice of the maintainer and the pilots at the forefront of the requirements list.”

Lord told Reuters outside a closed-door briefing to U.S. Congress that Lockheed Martin, the F-35’s prime contractor, would work on ODIN under the current ALIS funding profile without additional cost to the taxpayer.

...

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... u3gOUr-Dws


As a senior developer. Unless you've either changed the leadership OR the leadership learned the important lessons the first time. You'll just have the same problem the second time round.

Also big bang replacements are rarely worth the effort. All the little edge cases they've put into the current system? Will probably have to be relearnd all over again.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:00 pm

re: engine costs not coming down...

What did they expect? There is no competition because they chose to stop development of the competing engine for the contract, so there is no competition to bid against. Also, there's not a whole lot that's going to bring that price down. Modern turbines are a VERY expensive affair, involving a lot of high end materials science and ultra precision machining. Look at the problems that RR, GE and P&W are having in the commercial sector for programs that are well established.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:03 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:

As a senior developer. Unless you've either changed the leadership OR the leadership learned the important lessons the first time. You'll just have the same problem the second time round.

Also big bang replacements are rarely worth the effort. All the little edge cases they've put into the current system? Will probably have to be relearned all over again.

The direction and clearly the requirements have changed so I don’t expect it to be the same path. I also expect the JPO to have a lot more say in how the system evolves this time and the Mad Hatter/Kronos team to determine the direction and architecture. Once you change those aspects the software should be able to go the way it is meant to. There is clearly some good foundations in there with some of the AI predictive work done but it has also clearly not been implemented well.


LightningZ71 wrote:
re: engine costs not coming down...

What did they expect? There is no competition because they chose to stop development of the competing engine for the contract, so there is no competition to bid against. Also, there's not a whole lot that's going to bring that price down. Modern turbines are a VERY expensive affair, involving a lot of high end materials science and ultra precision machining. Look at the problems that RR, GE and P&W are having in the commercial sector for programs that are well established.

I still think the price should have come down more. Economies of scale for production usually leverage an approximate 13% reduction in price for every doubling of the production number and while there has been some reduction I don’t think there has been that much. Yes the engines are a little more complex that the air vehicle but not sufficiently so to make it not reduce in line with the air vehicle.

I don’t think keeping GE in with the F136 would have changed the overall cost structure through. There is little evidence that funding and sustaining a whole separate engine, the GE F110, for the F-16 actually resulted in lower overall costs to the program nor are the capabilities of the two engines so different to require that additional funding.

I expect the AETP award and a new engine for the F-35 in the 2025-2030 timeframe to be a winner take all arrangement as well.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:30 pm

The RAAF has finished up their training and contribution to the joint training mission at Luke AFB. The RAAF will begin training F-35 aircrew at RAAF Williamtown via 2OCU, the same unit that has trained multiple fighter aircraft for many years.

Royal Australian Air Force Completes Training Mission, Departs from Luke

After achieving all training milestones, the Royal Australian Air Force began returning its F-35A Lightning II pilots, maintainers and aircraft to Australia from Luke Air Force Base in December 2019.

The RAAF began training at Luke AFB with the 61st Fighter Squadron and Aircraft Maintenance Unit in December 2014 with two F-35s. Since then, 34 Australian pilots and 16 instructor pilots have earned their certification, and as of January 2020, the RAAF owns 20 F-35s.

“It’s going to be the start of another great working relationship and will continue what has been one of the most successful alliances in the last hundred years,” said Air Commodore Terry Van Haren, Australian Air attaché. “We have achieved a lot in the last five years since we started training here with the 56th Fighter Wing, 944th FW, 61st FS, 61st AMU and Lockheed Martin.”

In the future, Australian pilots and maintainers will train in Australia; however, they will remain regular visitors to Luke.

“Luke AFB is the RAAF’s F-35A delivery point, and Australian pilots will return several times a year to ferry the country’s new fifth generation fighters to Australia,” said Wing Commander Jordon Sander, 61st Fighter Squadron Australian Senior National Representative and new commander of RAAF No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit (No. 2 OCU). The ferrying missions will continue until the RAAF receives its last F-35A in 2023.

Luke and the RAAF will continue to maintain an alliance while Australian Air Force members primarily visit Luke when new F-35s are delivered.

“Both the RAAF and U.S. Air Force approach fighter flying and pilot training from different cultural perspectives,” said Sander. “Working alongside each other has seen the USAF challenge some of our ideas and vice versa. The relationship has helped us look inwards and ask ourselves why we do things the way we do.”

The RAAF plans to transition one of its existing units into an operational F-35 fighter wing within the next three years, said Van Haren.

On Dec. 16, the No. 2 OCU, located at RAAF Base Williamtown, Australia, ceased training F/A-18 Hornet pilots and transitioned into an F-35A training squadron, said Sander. No. 2 OCU will train all future RAAF F-35A pilots and maintainers.

Australia is one of seven nations currently partnered with Luke. The ability to work with other nations creates unique training opportunities for pilots and instructors from both countries.

“We have lifted each other in training world class warfighters, and, as our pilots return to Australia, they do so with the latest information on F-35 employment and training,” said Sander. “When we find ourselves in the skies together during coalition operations, our time at Luke AFB will allow us to effectively integrate in the projection of combat airpower.”

https://www.luke.af.mil/News/Article-Di ... env877swA/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:24 am

600 seats a big milestone but even more impressive is the 180 delivered in the next year alone…

Martin-Baker concludes 600th US16E ejection seat for F-35 Program

Martin-Baker has announced the completion of the 600th US16E ejection seat for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.

The ejection seat is part of the Lockheed Martin LRIP XII contract destined for F-35A aircraft AF-244, which is being assembled at the company’s facility located in Fort Worth, Texas, US.

Martin-Baker noted that the company will have manufactured and delivered a further 180 US16E Seats for the F-35 programme by the end of this year.

...

https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... seat-f-35/

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